"I will confess to you that I was kind of a goof off in high school as my mom reminded me. I went to high school in Hawaii, so there's a lot of opportunity to goof off because the weather is really good all the time …
"You know, I made some bad decisions …. You know, got into drinking and experimenting with drugs. There was a whole stretch of time where I didn't apply myself. It wasn't until I got out of … high school, and went to college that I started realizing, man, I wasted a lot of time.”
Barack Obama October 2007
It just goes to show that in America anyone can grow up to be President, Though just as obviously some should not.
Actually the more I have learned about Obama's high school days especially with all the revelations from the release of Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss, the more his high school days remind me of my own, "You know, got into drinking and experimenting with drugs." Experimenting with drugs is just a less critical way of saying that Obama like myself was a pot head. I too indulged in "a little blow when I could afford it" but stayed off the hard stuff-remarkably. I often joke that I grew up in Miami before Don Johnson and Miami Vice were there to stop us.
So I have no big hang up on politicians who used drugs in their youth, though I might be concerned if one was still using and addicted. Buzz Feed has an interesting little article about the revelations of Obama's drug use called "A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama" As I said nothing here shocks me but I wonder how these revelations would have played out if they had been splashed all over the media in 2008? You know like Sarah Palin's clothe shopping? How would the perception of the little known Barack Obama changed in the eyes of the public had all this been known? I guess it would depend on how the media chose to portray it, though they chose not to cover it at all.
But consider that Obama, on his year book page, thanked his drug dealer Ray for the good times, As Buzz Feed describes him and the salutation :
He was a long-haired haole hippie who worked at the Mama Mia Pizza Parlor not far from Punahou and lived in a dilapidated bus in an abandoned warehouse. … According to Topolinski, Ray the dealer was "freakin' scary." Many years later they learned that he had been killed with a ball-peen hammer by a scorned gay lover. But at the time he was useful because of his ability to "score quality weed."
In another section of the [senior] yearbook, students were given a block of space to express thanks and define their high school experience. … Nestled below [Obama's] photographs was one odd line of gratitude: "Thanks Tut, Gramps, Choom Gang, and Ray for all the good times." … A hippie drug-dealer made his acknowledgments; his own mother did not.
Enough with high school let's move onto college, or as "Frank" explained to our dope head future president “Understand something boy, you’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained. They’ll train you to forget what it is that you already know,They’ll train you so good, you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh**.”
Which begs the question, what was it that the dope head nineteen year old future "leader of the free world" know? What did he "know" that wasn't all that "sh**...about equal opportunity and the American way" ? And as importantly where and from whom did he learn it? Perhaps "Gramps" the all American World War Two hero who smoked dope and played scrabble? Or "Frank" the pornographer, drug dealer communist activist. It sounds to me like "Frank" didn't want Obama to forget what he already knew.
And he didn't.
Some excerpts from Meeting Young Obama by John Drew:
I met Obama in December of 1980, a couple of days after Christmas, in Portola Valley -- a small town near Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. I was a 23 year old second-year graduate student in Cornell's Government Department, and had flown to California to visit a 21 year old girlfriend, Caroline Boss. Boss was a senior at Occidental College, ... I had been an angry Marxist revolutionary during my undergraduate career at Occidental College. During my hyperactive sophomore year, in the fall of 1976, I founded the Marxist-Socialist group on campus and named it the Political Awareness Fellowship. As I recall, I developed this innocuous sounding name because there were so few students on campus as radical as I, and I was fearful of turning off moderate students who might be willing to learn more about Marxist theory...
So we have a committed Marxist, the original founder of a group which Obama was a member of meeting Obama. This should be no surprise after all as Obama tells us himself "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists." John Drew first met the nineteen year old Obama at his girlfriend's Caroline Boss's family home where Obama arrived with his close friend "Mohammed Hasan Chandoo - a wealthy, 21 year old Pakistani student." Drew explains who Chandoo was:
In David Remnick's book, The Bridge, Chandoo's bona fides as a committed Marxist were well-known to those close to him. Chandoo's girlfriend at the time, Margot Mifflin, told Remnick that "[I]n college, Hasan was a socialist, a Marxist, which is funny since he is from a wealthy family." (See, Remnick, David, The Bridge, Alfred A, Knopf, 2010, page 104.)
The group of young students then spent the evening discussing Marxist philosophy So what were this "angry..radical... Marxist" (Drew) first impressions of the future primary defender of our Constitution and republican form of government? Well in fact they disagreed on politics...well sort of. (All emphasis mine)
I thought a revolution was not in the cards anymore. There was no inevitability, in my mind, to the old idea that the proletariat would rise up and overthrow the ruling classes. Now, the idea that we could entirely eliminate the profit motive from an advanced industrialized economy seemed like a childhood fantasy. The future, I now thought, would belong to nations with mixed economic systems -- like those in Europe -- where there was government planning of the economy combined with a greater effort to produce a more equitable distribution of wealth. It made more sense to me to focus on elections rather than on preparing for a coming revolution.
Boss and Obama, however, had a starkly different view. They believed that the economic stresses of the Carter years meant revolution was still imminent. The election of Reagan was simply a minor set-back in terms of the coming revolution. As I recall, Obama repeatedly used the phrase "When the revolution comes...." In my mind, I remember thinking that Obama was blindly sticking to the simple Marxist theory that had characterized my own views while I was an undergraduate at Occidental College. "There's going to be a revolution," Obama said, "we need to be organized and grow the movement." In Obama's view, our role must be to educate others so that we might usher in more quickly this inevitable revolution.Well I'm sure glad he is not a socialist!
So, again where did the young Obama "pick up" these revolutionary ideas? Consider this observation by Drew:
I know this may be implausible to some readers, but I distinctly remember Obama surprising me by bringing up Frantz Fanon and colonialism. He impressed me with his knowledge of these two topics, topics which were not among my strong points -- or of overwhelming concern to me. Boss and Obama seemed to think their ideological purity was a persuasive argument in predicting that a coming revolution would end capitalism.Now does any of this sound like a young man dabbling around the edges in order "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,"? Or does it sound like someone well versed on Marxist theory who is very capable of remembering "what it is that you already know."
Frank Marshall Davis Communist Party number: 47544.:
"For a nation that calls itself the champion of democracy, our stupendous stupidity is equaled only by our mountainous ego. Our actions at home and abroad are making American democracy synonymous with oppression.I have watched with growing shame for my America as our leaders have used our golden riches to re-enslave the yellow and brown and black peoples of the world."
I guess it is possible that Dr Drew, who like so many, became disenchanted with Marxism and socialism once he had studied its consequences, is making all of this up. I have not heard that any of the other parties involved have in anyway disputed his account. Besides much of his story is easily verified or can be discredited,
Not surprisingly the media has made absolutely no attempt to investigate the story, It's not like it would be all that difficult since Mohammed Hasan Chandoo is an investment consultant and Obama bundler who lives in New York.
Heck the New York Times could send a reporter right on over and ask Mohammed, "Hey there is a story out there that you and the President were committed Marxist in college, any truth to it?"
Think they will do it?
No, me either.
More to come